[Review] Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

anna and the french kiss
Anna and the French Kiss 
(Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication: July 16th, 2013 by Speak
Page count: 372 (Paperback)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Five years since its first publication date and countless raving reviews later, I finally picked up Anna and the French Kiss because, well, I was in need of a fluffy read and this book did put a smile on my face!

We have Anna who is sent to a boarding school in Paris. Not only did this book seem like a light read, but the setting also intrigued me a lot. I’ve never read anything set in Paris, let alone go to the City of Light, so you can say that I was pretty ecstatic. Boy, from the description Paris sounds like a gorgeous place, with its gray-ish evenings and flickering lights at nights. <3

At first, I found Anna’s voice to be slightly peculiar because some sentences are written in caps lock. I guess to express Anna’s emotion more clearly. But still, the writing seemed weird. I don’t normally come across this much caps lock in a book. (Then again, I myself OFTEN use caps lock so I shouldn’t be saying this -_-) Fortunately, I got accustomed to it gradually and later found it to be rather endearing. I think Anna’s voice is the right mixture of lightness and bitterness, cynical and hopeful altogether.

Étienne is also a really sweet guy and I personally loved the fact that their relationship started out as friendship. They both were such good friends to each other I wish I had a guy best friend like that *dreamy sigh* Additionally, the side characters were so fun to read about, though I wish there had been more interaction between Anna and them… Just because she is the protagonist and Étienne is the love interest doesn’t mean that it’s okay to ignore the rest of the characters, you know…

However, despite being highly absorbed by this book, Anna and the French Kiss didn’t leave me with as much impact as I had expected. The thing that bugged me the most was how complicated Anna and Étienne’s relationship becomes. I enjoyed their friendship, but the evolution into “something more than friends” isn’t quite smooth in my opinion. Stuff they did is pretty messed up as well and to be utterly honest I found some of them a little hard to tolerate. Moreover, there are also unnecessary dramas with the typical high school queen bee, the misunderstandings, how Anna and Étienne weren’t mature enough to be clear about each other’s feelings…

Nevertheless, the book still ends satisfactorily, leaving me eager to start Stephanie Perkins’s other work. Anna and the French Kiss has flaws which didn’t escape me, but on the whole, it gave me a positive impression and I didn’t regret the time I spent on this book at all.

3-stars

 

16 comments

  1. I read this book way back when it was published, and I felt pretty much the same as you! I wasn’t 100% keen on some of the themes, especially since it seemed like they were romanticised.

    I was actually pretty surprised to see that the blogosphere loves this book so much! It kind of makes me want to go back and read it again, to maybe see if I missed something, haha XD

    I have heard many good things about the next book in the series, so hopefully you like that one a bit more, Kezia!
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    1. Yeah, I was slightly disappointed because I didn’t love it as much as others :/ I REALLY DON’T LIKE WHAT ETIENNE DID. But I guess it was a good past-time read, overall.

      Reply

    1. Same here. I was expecting some major feels but they weren’t there at all. At least this book didn’t infuriate me like The One >_< I actually liked Anna and Etienne's friendship better... The email conversations were the best in my opinion!

      Reply

  2. Yes I agree how Paris was described very well! While reading AATFK, I felt like I was in Paris the whole time! I enjoyed getting to know about the side characters as well. I think I rather have Anna and St. Clair as friends instead of being boy/girl friends.

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    1. IKR the place seemed BEAUTIFUL! Stephanie Perkins did well with the setting. I’m also with you about the friendship thing — the romance kinda butchered it to be honest >< But well, I guess I liked the ending enough? Though I'd like to read more about the side characters honestly... 🙁

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  3. This is slightly disappointing. I’ve heard really good things about this series but a group of romanticized teens is never the best for me. I don’t like heavy drama either. I already see enough of it in TV shows. Like why would I need it in the books I read?

    I feel like sometimes there should be guy/girl friend relationships but NO. Apparently, a guy and girl can’t just be friends. I’m going to stop here because RANT rawr but still 😛

    Great review!
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    1. Haha true! I’m actually wishing for a friendship centered story with no romance between a guy and a girl. I doubt there is a book like that though. xD

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  4. I had the exact same thoughts as you. As much as I loved Paris, I just didn’t like Anna and St. Etiennes relationship. I liked them as characters, but their whole friend group was just, it just didn’t work for me.

    Awesome review!!!
    Valerie recently posted… Review: SeraphinaMy Profile

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    1. True. The other characters were just in the shadows — it would have been nice if we got to know them better.

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  5. I think that if you had read it before all the hype you would have enjoyed it more. I found that in my experience (even though I loved it) the hype greatly affected it. And if I had of read without the hype it probably would be one of my fave books ever. I can see how Anna’s voice is weird, you’re right the caps lock did take some getting used too.

    Great review, I’m glad you finally read it.

    Reply

    1. I totally agree about hype ruining my reading experience, Francoise! I have some cases in which I failed to enjoy a book because of my unreasonably high expectation *coughThe5thWave* But in this case I don’t think hype is the main problems… A few aspects in this book just didn’t sit right with me.

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